Saturday, December 13, 2008

Read the comments

Police: Ariz. killer, 8, vowed 1,000th spanking would be last
By FELICIA FONSECA Associated Press
Dec. 13, 2008, 1:15PM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — What do you do with an 8-year-old boy charged with two counts of premeditated murder?
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Read the comments...!

This one caught my eye:
OneOfTheHerd wrote:
In my day kids accepted their brutal beatings and did not complain.
12/13/2008 3:28:38 PM
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Nowadays, though, some parents have guns available - and obviously not secured.

To my mind, this is a case of evolution in action.

This kid's trial is going to be fascinating.

I'm curious what the NRA's take will be - and it's sure to be a doozy.

Should Organizations Speak Louder Than People?

On December 2nd, City Council considered a report from the Campaign Finance task force, and I fully subscribe to most of the Task Force recommendations. Among recommendations initially embraced by Council, however, is a minority opinion on complying donations. It limits contributions to $200 for an individual, and $500 for an organization. By limiting donations well below the $1000 recommended by the Task Force en suite, Council is headed in the right direction. But permitting an organization to contribute more than an individual would be incorrect.

There is considerable energy in the ongoing national debate over whether the 14th Amendment gives organizations similar civil rights (e.g. free speech) to those of natural persons. I shan't recapitulate it here, but instead refer you to, say, Wikipedia's article on corporate personhood. The length and vigor of the debate is indicated by its being Thomas Jefferson who said "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." To this day we see, and nominally abjure, the influence of corporate money in politics. We struggle with this on the national stage, but Longmont need not idly suffer the same abuses.

An axiom is a statement that stands on its own merit without justification. I offer these as axioms: That money influences elections. That all citizens should have equal access to, and influence on, their governance. That openness and even-handedness in campaigning, as in governing, is essential. That organizations are not natural persons and should not be given advantages over natural persons. And that no one should be coerced into contributing to a campaign.

If you agree with the axioms I think it follows quite straightforwardly that an organization should not be permitted larger donations than an individual. To level the playing field in no way prevents an organization's members from individually making contributions. An organization arguing it should be permitted to make large contributions to a campaign wishes to influence the election in a manner beyond the reach of the ordinary citizen. A member of a contributing organization might see his dues support a candidate he would not wish to. We have seen both of these latter situations arise in recent Longmont elections.

Doug Brown spoke in favor of a larger contribution limit for organizations, claiming it permits visibility of which organizations support a given candidate so that a voter can judge a candidate by his supporters. (But an organization may endorse a candidate, and the campaign may accept that endorsement, actually without financial cost to the organization. And an organization's contribution at any reported level -- not just an enlarged one -- speaks of its support.) Chris Colelli focuses on the possibility that a wealthy organization will use other means to influence a campaign, such as though the "527" route. (But Longmont can and should state that those expenditures are not included in what we shall endorse as fair campaigning.)

A $200 cap acts toward putting all citizens within reach of equal monetary influence on an election. And important as a City election is, I don't think it merits a larger limit than, say, a State Representative or Senator of Colorado -- that limit being $200.

Do you think it should be called fair to allow an organization to have a louder voice than you do? Let your Councilmembers know your opinion.

Richard Juday
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Note: Longmont City Council recently voted to go with the lower contribution limits.

Unions win a big one

Despite the endless screeching of the wingnut loons, a North Carolina slaughterhouse, after 15 years of effort, finally went union.

Smithfield Packing slaughterhouse in Tar Heel, N.C. is now unionized.

The vote was one of the biggest private-sector union successes in years.

The vote was 2,041 to 1,879.

Maybe it had something to do with the government's efforts to drive out the illegal immigrants, leaving the workforce 60% black. Guess those brothers and sisters just don't intimate worth a damn.

“The union didn’t win by a big margin, but it’s an important positive sign for labor,” said Richard Hurd, a professor of labor relations at Cornell University. “They may be able to use it as leverage to organize other meatpacking plants in the South. The victory may be tied to the political environment. The election of Barack Obama may have eased people’s concerns about speaking out and standing up for a union.”

Holy crap! You mean this could lead to other businesses in the South going union? Good grief! It will bring down High Society! The social classes will be disrupted.

Here's some pertinent lyrics from the IWW (waves to Richard Yale)

Put It on the Ground 2
(Words: Ray Glaser Music: Bill Wolff)

Oh! If you want a raise in pay, all you have to do
Go and ask the boss for it and he will give it to you
Yes, he will give it to you, my boys, he will give it to you
A raise in pay, without delay, oh, he will give it to you

Ohhh, put it on the ground, spread it all around
Dig it with a hoe: it will make your flowers grow

For men who own the industries I'm shedding bitter tears
They haven't made a single dime in over thirty years
In over thirty years, my boys, in over thirty years
Not one thin dime in all that time, in over thirty years. Ohhhh...

put it on the ground, spread it all around
Dig it with a hoe: it will make your flowers grow

"The cost of living ain't so high," I told my wife Miranda
"This talk of living being hard is Rooshian propaganda."
It's Rooshian propaganda, boys, just Rooshian propaganda
From Molotov to Simonov, just Rooshian propaganda. Ohhhh...

put it on the ground, spread it all around
Dig it with a hoe: it will make your flowers grow

It's fun to work on holidays, or when the day is done;
Why should they pay us overtime for having so much fun?
For having so much fun my boys, for having so much fun.
Pay overtime would be a crime for having so much fun. Ohhh...

put it on the ground, spread it all around
Dig it with a hoe: it will make your flowers grow

The men who own the industries, they own no bonds and stocks
They own no yachts and limousines, or gems the size of rocks.
They own no big estates with pools, or silken B.V.D.'s,
Because they pay the working man such fancy salaries. Ohhh....

put it on the ground, spread it all around
Dig it with a hoe: it will make your flowers grow

(c)1947, People's Songs, Inc.
JRO
apr00

Perfect Circle

This says it all.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stop Listening

Damn. I swear, if I ever meet Colin Powell I may well kiss him right on the lips.

Powell: GOP 'polarization' backfired in election
Posted: 07:01 PM ET

(CNN) — The Republican party must stop "shouting at the world" and start listening to minority groups if it is to win elections in the 21st century, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday.

In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria for Sunday's "GPS" program, President Bush's former secretary of state said his party's attempt "to use polarization for political advantage" backfired last month.

"I think the party has to take a hard look at itself," Powell said in the interview, which was taped Wednesday. "There is nothing wrong with being conservative. There is nothing wrong with having socially conservative views — I don't object to that. But if the party wants to have a future in this country, it has to face some realities. In another 20 years, the majority in this country will be the minority."

Powell, who crossed party lines and endorsed President-elect Barack Obama just weeks before the election, said the GOP must see what is in the "hearts and minds" of African-American, Hispanic and Asian voters "and not just try to nfluence them by… the principles and dogma."

"I think the party has to stop shouting at the world and at the country,"Powell said. "I think that the party has to take a hard look at itself, and I've talked to a number of leaders in recent weeks and they understand that." Powell, who says he still considers himself a Republican, said his party should also stop listening to conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

"Can we continue to listen to Rush Limbaugh?" Powell asked. "Is this really the kind of party that we want to be when these kinds of spokespersons seem to appeal to our lesser instincts rather than our better instincts?"

Zakaria's full interview with Powell will air Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
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(All emphasis mine - mdw)

WONDERFUL



Hat tip to Doug's Dynamic Drivel, thanks Doogie!

Infection



Every commercial flight in the world over a 24 hour period.

Looks like the Andromeda Strain at work.

There's more of these films here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kounsil Kampain Kaperz

*Snif Snif*

I smell money moving around.

Every single time the Longmont Times-Call runs any story about City Council, the first five or six comments are vicious attacks. If I didn't know better, I'd say they had gotten advance notice and been given talking points. Dolorous, sanctimonious laments from councilmember Mary Blue1 and Gabe Santos2 are de rigeur, underlining how disappointed those two 'crusaders' are.

What blows the whistle on this tactic is the jingo being used. The ever-present epithets about "greenies," "environmentalists" and "eco-nuts" along with sneering about "being green" tell me it's the Longmont Lunatic Fringe. (Golly gee Wally, ya think?)

If the carefully-orchestrated anvil chorus on Council isn't an obvious tactic to you, let me remind you of a certain pink letter and the torch-and-pitchfork screeching it created that carried Councilman Santos into office.

I'm just curious who's going to run in the next Council election.

I'm sure there will be a near-continuous barrage of letters-to-the-editor, blog postings, comments, mailers, tv ads, radio spots, flyers, visits from deposed Reps, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc!

The Lunatic Fringe wants Longmont back and they want it bad.

Enough to spend a sizable fraction of their annual budgets to buy it if need be.
--------
1 She reminds me of a line from Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis: "...she did her work with the thoroughness of a mind which reveres details and never quite understands them..."

2 Gabe Santos Interview

Blago Rudeness

The Rude Pundit has some pithy comments about Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. Well worth reading. Nice to see the entire Democratic caucus stand up en masse and call for his resignation. Where was that unity when we needed it? We should look to the GOP for examples of outstanding party unity - like this. Man, that just sends tingles down my spine.

Baby Jesus is Safe

Baby Jesus will sleep more soundly in upcoming weeks due to the vigiliance of local law enforcement, aided with GPS tracking devices and video cameras.

However, thousands of folks in Colorado won't since they'll be worried about being laid off.

Meanwhile, the GOP, according to some, will continue to wander in the wasteland due to the schism between the religious fundamentalists (social conservatives) and the barrons (fiscal conservatives).

All this while our troops are still getting blown up by improvised explosive devices because their vehicles aren't properly armored - despite the Chimperor's Court knowing how serious the problem was long before the war.

I find it ironic that we go to ridiculous lengths to protect symbols while human lives are being lost - with the 'pro life' party in office. Just goes to show the words don't always match the deeds.

Coloradoan site safe

From Coloradoan.com
We have received word from our web technical support company GMTI that some end-user installations of the Norton Internet Security application have begun to erroneously alert malicious activity at Coloradoan.com and MomsLikeMe.com.
Woof! Don'tcha just hate it when the software to protect the virus-ridden nightmares known as 'PCs' turns on you?
There is no risk in continuing to access our sites...
Aside from being flamed for being a commie librul in the comments by hillbillies, but that will never change... kinda like Ft. Collins.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One down, one to go

Court: No Review of Obama's Eligibility to Serve

At least one other appeal over Obama's citizenship remains at the court. Philip J. Berg of Lafayette Hill, Pa., argues that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii as Obama says and Hawaii officials have confirmed.

Berg says Obama also may be a citizen of Indonesia, where he lived as a boy. Federal courts in Pennsylvania have dismissed Berg's lawsuit. Federal courts in Ohio and Washington state have rejected similar lawsuits.

Here's what David Horowitz had to say on CBS News website:

The continuing efforts of a fringe group of conservatives to deny Obama his victory and to lay the basis for the claim that he is not a legitimate president is embarrassing and destructive. The fact that these efforts are being led by Alan Keyes, a demagogue who lost a Senate election to the then-unknown Obama by 42 points, should be a warning in itself.

The GOP's Road to Recovery?

Great post at ColoradoPols.

Here's a classic from my favorite floppy-shoed purveyor of GOP wizzdumb:

John Andrews, former state Senate president and a Centennial Republican:

* "I would prescribe the Wizard of Oz treatment.

"We need a heart so we don't sound so mean-spirited and intolerant.

"We need a brain - we can't keep trying the same thing and expect a different result.

"And we need courage to stick to our principles of personal responsibility, economic freedom and strong free-market systems."

----
I wonder if John also went on to sing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in a high-pitched scary voice as he skipped around the stage before cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West.

*shudders* yeesh

Cracking Fleas

Well, the lid on the pot full o' Blackwater is starting to rattle.

One of the Blackwater guards involved in the shooting deaths of at least 14 Iraqi citizens has agreed to testify against five other guards as part of a secret plea deal negotiated last month but approved and filed last Thursday. In a stunning admission of his own wrongdoing made public today, Jeremy Ridgeway, 35, agreed to plead guilty to one count of manslaughter, attempt to commit murder and aiding and abetting.

Bout time.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Skitzy

Someone's wishing for public amnesia... or maybe it's just schizophrenia.

from the post:
Since that time, Bob at Bob’s Blog compared James Dobson to Ronald Reagan. It seems like quite a stretch to me, but if that floats his boat…
Just guessing, but I think this is the entry being referred to
(there was no link in the post above when I grabbed that snip):
Ronald Reagan had a record as California Governor that established him as a person who proudly stood up for traditional values. He earned the enthusiastic support of millions of people. Kind of like James Dobson!
Well, Dobson sure had wood for Reagan:

In a letter eulogizing him, Dobson said of Reagan:
"Ronald Reagan will always be one of my heroes," Dobson writes in the letter, to be distributed to millions of Focus on the Family constituents. "He had the courage to defend the unborn child and openly support the institution of the family at a time when it was politically suicidal to even utter such things."
Sure sounds like they saw eye to eye on something.

But here's a clip of Reagan (then a liberal Democrat) campaigning for Truman.

Funny how prophetic it sounds.

Oh, wither hast thou gone, O hero of the Left? and the Right? Hello?

No wonder the GOP is in such disarray, they've gone skitzy.

Hard to be a unified party when your 'left' and 'right'* hemispheres are fighting with each other.

I think the problem is that the GOP is composed of two mutually-exclusive sub-parties that are desperately trying to climb each other's backs - and the recent years of losses underscore that they're both winning.

Personally I hope it continues, it's been a boon to progress in this country.




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(* or perhaps I should say "your far right and your screeching-for-blood-distant-right")

All Fall Down

From OnlineJournal.com

Bush reported to be drinking heavily
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Dec 5, 2008, 00:25

(WMR) -- With less than two months remaining in office, George W. Bush, witnessing a devastating defeat for the Republican Party, worse favorability ratings than those of Richard Nixon at the height of the Watergate scandal, and the most devastating economic situation since the Great Depression, is reported by a number of well-placed sources in Washington as drinking heavily.

After having tried to explain away the collapse of several Wall Street brokerage houses by saying, “Wall Street got drunk,” it appears that it is Bush who is suffering from bouts of drunkenness.

According to informed sources who spoke to WMR, Bush was visibly drunk at the recent G-20 economic summit in Washington and at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, Chinese President Hu Jintao, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper were among the world leaders who had the chance to witness an inebriated Bush both at the G-20 and APEC summits.

WMR has long reported on Bush’s heavy drinking. On July 31, 2007, WMR reported: “WMR has learned that the January 13, 2002, incident in which President Bush claimed to have choked on a pretzel and passed out briefly was a cover story designed to divert the media’s attention away from Bush’s heavy drinking. A well-placed White House source has confirmed a previous account of another well-connected White House source that Bush had been drinking while watching a Sunday NFL playoff game between Baltimore and Miami.

The White House nurse on duty examined Bush after he passed out from drinking at around 5:35 pm and took a blood sample ostensibly to check his blood sugar levels. The blood sample reportedly showed Bush’s blood alcohol content at a level considered to be legal intoxication.

Bush fell from his couch bruising his cheek and cutting his lip. His eyeglasses also cut the side of his face. Bush blamed the incident on his failure to heed his mother’s advice and chew all his food before he swallowed.”

On June 6, 2005, WMR reported: “A well-heeled Republican donor to the Republican Party was very frank about George W. Bush’s mental and physical condition. Attending a May 17 Republican National Committee $1500 a ticket fundraiser at Washington’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, the Bush supporter commented that he and others in attendance were talking the entire evening about Bush’s strange appearance. The donor and GOP supporter said that Bush ‘looked like he was on crystal meth,’ a reference to the illegal drug crystal methamphetamine, a hallucinogenic stimulant.”

On September 22, 2005, WMR reported: “The White House press corps has been whispering about Bush’s drinking over the past few years. None dare write or speak about it lest their credentials are lifted and further access cut off by the most vindictive White House in American history.”

On March 13, 2007, WMR reported: “Our White House Press Corps sources report further disturbing news about President George W. Bush. Our sources have witnessed a clearly inebriated Bush approaching members of the press corps and making rude comments, including one particularly crude remark about First Lady Laura Bush. In that case, Bush, nodding toward Laura, called her a ‘c**t.’ While Bush’s drinking is no secret to the White House press contingent, that particular comment was reportedly the worst they have heard uttered by Bush. Our sources also report that Laura Bush’s stays at the White House are less frequent and that her overnight trips to the Mayflower Hotel often coincide with the president’s drunken binges.”

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Alzheimer's Disease Cure/Vaccine in Sight?

From ScienceDaily:

Cold Sore Virus Linked To Alzheimer's Disease: New Treatment, Or Even Vaccine Possible

ScienceDaily (Dec. 7, 2008) — The virus behind cold sores is a major cause of the insoluble protein plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's disease sufferers, University of Manchester researchers have revealed.

They believe the herpes simplex virus is a significant factor in developing the debilitating disease and could be treated by antiviral agents such as acyclovir, which is already used to treat cold sores and other diseases caused by the herpes virus. Another future possibility is vaccination against the virus to prevent the development of the disease in the first place.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterised by progressive memory loss and severe cognitive impairment. It affects over 20 million people world-wide, and the numbers will rise with increasing longevity. However, despite enormous investment into research on the characteristic abnormalities of AD brain - amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles - the underlying causes are unknown and current treatments are ineffectual.

read the rest

Cutting edge news


In The Know: How Can We Make The Iraq War More Handicap Accessible?

It's kind of spooky how real the Onion makes these shows look.

More inconsistency - on our side of the aisle



Right on the mark Mr. Jamiol.

Why the Dems can't grow a pair about torture, wiretapping and unwarranted searches tells me they're under someone's thumb.

Golly. I wonder who Wally...

Now HERE'S some dishonesty and inconsistency

From firedoglake

Condi is still trying to make the case that we would have gone to war with Iraq no matter what - WMDs or not.

History is already judging this 'war' for what it is - a lie and a chance for right-wing toadies to go face down in the public trough while religious loons made sad faces about all the American deaths (secretly exulting in the extermination of muslim 'heretics').

Until the folks on the right wake up and pull their collective heads out of their brass-plated orifii and admit that Iraq (just like it's lil brother Vietnam) was a total waste of our soldier's lives and our tax money they can take their chants of 'dishonesty' on the left, sit on them and spin (which is what they seem to do best in any case).

If there were so many reasons to get rid of Saddam Hussein, why did we go to such lengths to help him? Oh, right, he had OIL.

Solomonesque

Wow... say that three times quickly. Saw that today amidst a screed about tax (predictably) that was otherwise bullshit*. Proof once again that a keyboard and a blogging tool do not make you a good writer (or even faintly interesting except for the amusement factor**).

* which is why it's not linked
** which, in their case, is huge

Special Thanks

To those fine folks over at the Colorado Index.

Haven't had such a good laugh in months!

Really, love ya babe.

Big Kiss!